Earth Day, coming up tomorrow the 22nd of April presents the perfect opportunity for businesses to create or reaffirm a commitment to their own sustainability practices and ESG goals. 

Especially as global research from Accenture found that 93% of businesses will fail to reach their net zero targets if they don't double the pace of their emission reduction by 2050. Taking these steps to reduce a business’s carbon footprint also has a direct impact on improving employee retention. Research by Carbon Commitment revealed that 57% of employees believe their employers aren’t doing enough to cut their carbon footprint. To remedy this, Britain’s leading sustainability and money-saving platform – SaveMoneyCutCarbon – launches nine simple steps that businesses can employ this Earth Day and beyond, to start the journey to reaching net zero. 

Improve recycling

In England, a quarter of waste is produced by enterprise organisations, meaning businesses have a huge responsibility to recycle. It is an easy and effective way to prevent waste from being sent to landfill. The majority of employees should be used to recycling at home so bringing this mindset into work should come naturally.
In production, moving to a circular economy will have an even bigger positive environmental impact. By taking waste and repurposing it into usable materials and products, there will be less demand for raw materials – reducing carbon emissions and waste. If one of your business goals is to improve company culture, recycling contributes to this. It can help employees feel like they are working towards a shared goal and be part of positive change. Additionally, recycling saves money because you don’t have to pay landfill tax rates and waste disposal gate fees.

Turn to renewable energy sources

Businesses can be rewarded through a plethora of benefits from renewable energy sources such as solar PV systems. The main advantage is reduced electricity costs, which is pivotal in today’s cost of living crisis. Although it is a big upfront investment, it is guaranteed ROI and you’ll earn your money back (and more with what you save). Turning away from fossil fuels will also lower your carbon footprint and enhance your business’s reputation with green credentials. More and more consumers are choosing businesses that invest in green practices and businesses must keep up with this change to stay relevant. Companies interested in future-proofing their business but not sure where to start can book a free 30-minute carbon mentor call with one of the sustainability specialists at SaveMoneyCutCarbon.

Switch to LED

LEDs have taken over the home and considering businesses operate nearly 24/7 in some way or another, it’s time for businesses to follow suit. LED lights are more energy-efficient than regular lightbulbs: they use 90% less energy to produce the same amount of light. LEDs are also more reliable and last considerably longer, reducing maintenance time in the workplace.

Another great thing about LEDs is that they come in a range of colour temperatures, and some are dimmable. Poor lighting can cause eye strain, fatigue and headaches. Adjusting from warm to cool light depending on the time of day or task at hand gives employees the freedom to customise their workspace and create a place to maximise productivity and well-being.

Keep documents digital 

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Going paperless is an easy and efficient way to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.

According to DocuSign, the world produces roughly 420 million tons of paper every year. But in recent years, the office has been undergoing a digital transformation, reducing natural resource consumption, pollution and waste. Going paperless is an easy and efficient way to reduce your business’s carbon footprint. Now, everything can be stored on the cloud. That means reduced costs: businesses can spend less money on paper, ink, postage and transportation, using that money in more valuable ways. Plus, less time is wasted on manual processes like filing, searching and retrieving documents, increasing productivity and further maximising profit.

Optimise your heating and cooling systems

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems account for almost half of the energy used in commercial buildings. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), those same systems are in the top five contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. And in 24/7 operations such as hotels and hospitals, that number grows exponentially.
Heating and air conditioning are not something that businesses can get rid of, so we need to find greener alternatives. And energy management is the key. The GEM link solution is a pioneer in cost-saving, sensor-based energy management. It only takes 60 minutes to retrofit into most existing HVAC systems, helping businesses save 30% on energy with fast paybacks. As the sole partner for Lodging Technology in EMEA, we’re experts in delivering effective energy management, helping you reduce costs and your business’s carbon footprint.

Switch off and unplug

Think how many appliances and how much technology is in an office – from kettles and microwaves to computers and lights. Even if a device isn’t on, it still uses energy. And no matter how small, this all adds up. Turning off the lights, shutting down computers and unplugging devices that aren’t in use each day will reduce your energy consumption and in turn reduce costs and carbon emissions. 

Invest in energy-efficient appliances

The average business electricity bill in the UK is £3,061 per year. More businesses are investing in energy-efficient appliances and green technology to cut operational costs and future-proof their organisation. One way to do that is with instant hot water taps. Instant hot water taps have become increasingly popular choices due to their economic credentials. Hundreds of teas and coffees are likely made throughout a single day in the office, using a lot of energy every time. Boiling water taps store and draw kettle-hot filtered water on demand, directly from the tap. According to The Times, tea drinkers tend to overfill their kettles with twice as much water as they need, wasting a huge amount of energy. This results in unnecessarily boiling 70 million litres of water every day. The great thing about boiling water taps is that it instantly gives you the exact amount you need. No more guesswork.

Eco hand dryers

Investing in quality eco-hand dryers is a wise investment for any business. Paper towel dryers are expensive: thousands of pounds are spent purchasing, maintaining and disposing of waste every year. Waste paper can rarely be recycled, ending up in landfill instead. But traditional hand dryers are just as bad. Some of them consume more electricity as they are slow and have a much shorter lifespan. SaveMoneyCutCarbon offers a range of eco-hand dryers that maintain the highest level of hygiene standards. The SMCC eco hand dryer has an average running cost of £16 per year compared to a paper towel dryer which can cost businesses up to £1,460 per year. Plus, it produces almost two-thirds less greenhouse gas emissions.

Ultra-low flow toilets and waterless urinals  

Traditional toilets in the UK average 9 litres per flush and account for up to 85% of commercial water in buildings. Propelair toilets are one of the innovative solutions helping businesses to reduce their water consumption: 84% less water to be precise. Similarly, urinal flushing is one of the worst offenders of water consumption. Choosing waterless urinals such as the WhiffAway Waterless Urinal Starter Kit is more hygienic and just one will save 35,000 gallons of water per year.